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UPDATE 11/14: New CA Ebola Mandate Inspired by NNU Appeal to Gov. Brown, Sets National Model
On November 11, two-day strikes started that effect nearly 20,000 registered nurses at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics, a Sutter hospital in Tracy, and Watsonville Community Hospital kicking off a wave of protests in 15 states and the District of Columbia over eroding patient care conditions symbolized by inadequate Ebola safeguards at most U.S. hospitals. Large noon rallies were held at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser South Sacramento.
On the evening of September 23, the airwaves were filled with reports of strikes by the United States and its allies against targets in Syria. Rapid response in Palo Alto by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center brought out Peninsula residents in protest.
Demonstrators in San Francisco and San José took the streets as well. The real objective of this war, said protesters, is to locate permanent Pentagon military bases in Iraq, Syria and the entire resource rich region of the Middle East. Endless war in the Middle East with the US leading the pack is to gain permanent imperial power and domination in a region that contains much of the world's oil reserves.
Emergency Protest "Stop the U.S. bombing of Syria!"
Rallies and marches in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Mo. were held across the world following the events of August 9 when Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses. Michael was reportedly unarmed and holding his hands up while attempting to surrender when he was gunned down. Protests in the Bay Area were held in San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Cruz.
On June 10, activists rallied in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San José to protest the unjust prosecution of 66-year-old Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh. Last October, Homeland Security agents arrested Odeh after the Department of Justice charged her with “unlawful procurement of naturalization.” The Obama administration’s filing of these charges could result in her being stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported.
The DOJ alleges that she improperly omitted mention in the application of having been in prison in Israel, but supporters claim the facts tell a different story. Odeh was arrested by Israeli soldiers as a 21-year-old university student in her home in Ramallah, but she was tortured, along with her father, for 45 days, and sentenced to prison for a crime she did not commit.
Odeh is well known in Chicago, where she has worked as associate director of the Arab American Action Network to defend civil liberties and promote immigrant rights. Last year, the Chicago Cultural Alliance bestowed on her its Outstanding Community Leader Award in recognition of her devoting “over 40 year of her life to the empowerment of Arab women.”
Laurie Valdez writes:
My name is Laurie Valdez. On February 21, 2014, my partner Antonio Guzman Lopez was murdered at the hands of San Jose State University Police Department Sgt. Mike Santos, who claims he did it in defense of fellow UPD officer Frits Van der Hoek.
The incident happened right by a childcare center and in front of a sorority house. Clearly Santos had no concern for the safety of others or the fellow officer who, according to Santos, was standing right in front of Antonio, thus placing him in the line of fire. I hope Officer Santos, is aware of how many lives were affected by his actions. There was clearly a complete disregard for the safety of children, students, neighbors, and another officer! A community is traumatized, and they now fear for their own safety!
No justice can be given to Antonio because he is no longer here. But our son Josiah, who is 4 years old, deserves justice for having to grow up without his daddy for the rest of his life. Josiah and Antonio had a lifetime of love to be shared and it was taken away from both of them. Josiah is left here to suffer without his daddy to hold him, hug him, or go to his first day of school. This is all because of the actions of Officer Mike Santos, and those who have persisted in remaining silent or continue to cover up his murder.
See Also: The Anatomy of Police Murder and Cover Up
| Laurie Valdez of Justice For Josiah interview on Setting the Standard
Donald Williams Jr., a black student at San Jose State University and a resident of Santa Cruz, filed a $5 million claim
on March 19 against the institution, which alleges breach of contract, breach of duty, negligence, and violation of the Unruh Act. The claim stems from alleged hate crimes committed against Williams in his SJSU dorm room by three of his housemates in the Fall of 2013.
In February, an independent fact finding report was released that outlined the incidents. The report states that the series of events occurred over the course of the semester, between late August and early October of 2013, and the University became aware of the Victim’s situation on October 13. Williams' parents were visiting their son's accommodations on that date when they observed a Confederate flag in the common area and a racial slur written on a whiteboard. Williams' parents then reported their observations to the Resident Assistants (“RA”) on duty. Additional incidents were subsequently revealed: Williams had a bicycle U-lock forcibly placed around his neck, which injured him, and he was also barricaded in his bedroom by the suspects.
After the incidents became public, large protest rallies were held at the university organized by the SJSU Black Student Union, which demanded change at the university, including protecting its African American studies courses.
Read More | See Also: SJSU Releases Hate Crime Report
| San Jose State University Hate Crime Deplorable
On March 19, a group of more than 60 protesters demonstrated at the Hewlett-Packard shareholders' meeting because of its business dealings with the Israeli military. They said HP is complicit in oppressing Palestine because it makes the technology for biometric cards that contain large amounts of data on the card carrier. Those cards are used by Israel to segregate and discriminate against Palestinians.
While protesters sang and chanted loudly in front of the Santa Clara Convention Center, some members of the "Stop HP Coalition" inside the shareholders' meeting introduced a proposal calling for an in-depth look at HP's dealings with the Israeli military and its human rights abuses. Although the measure was defeated by 83%, speakers in favor of the proposal, including two Presbyterian (USA) ministers, pressed their case, forcing HP CEO Meg Whitman to acknowledge it; Whitman said that the company "will look into this."
Human rights activists who organized the day's events say the task ahead is to get HP to agree to keep their commitments to meet with the coalition and to look into the issues brought forward. The Coalition to Stop HP includes: The American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace: Bay Area, South Bay and Santa Cruz chapters, Global Exchange, UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, Northern California Friends of Sabeel, and San Francisco Veterans for Peace.
Photos: 1 | 2
Jewish Voice for Peace | Friends of Sabeel | San Francisco Veterans for Peace | American Friends Service Committee
On March 1, urban farmers demonstrated at Sprouts grocery chain locations in Petaluma, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. The farmers oppose plans to develop the Gill Tract. Boycott Sprouts is asking shoppers to patronize other stores until Sprouts backs away from the development deal. On March 5, the Albany City Council approved paving six acres of the Gill Tract. In response to the council's vote, Occupy the Farm has called for a rally on March 12
Called organismo modificado genéticamente or organismo transgénico in Spanish, genetically modified organisms (GMO) were the topic of the day on October 12, in conjunction with a global day of action
. Members of La Defensa del Maiz San José gathered in front of San Jose City Hall to protest Monsanto's corporate control of food.
Sergio Nesaulakoyotl Martinez of La Defensa shook a sheath of black corn and called out "Adelante! Forward!" for victory over Monsanto's "heinous rule." While some speakers called out for labeling, others said, "ban the GMOs and jail the corporate criminals!"
La Defensa del Maiz San José was joined by the Raging Grannies (Las Abuelitas Enojadas), members of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center, and others concerned for food safety. Food Not Bombs provided lunch. Also speaking at the event were representatives of the Green Party and Move to Amend. Barry Chang of Cupertino, who is running for political office, summed up the sentiment of the protesters saying, "corporations lie."
Read More with Photos
As the U.S. government marched towards war with Syria in late August, anti-war groups and activists across the state responded with two weeks of emergency demonstrations. The ANSWER Coalition organized a series of protests, and actions were planned for the offices of Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer. Events were also held at well known anti-war protest locations such as Peace Crossroads in San Jose and on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz.
11AM Saturday Dec 6
Holiday Peace Fair